Persian and delicious.
The lady that cuts my hair is Persian and she recently recommended a restaurant up in Albany Park. I swear, one of the main pastimes here in Chicago (besides summer festivals) is discussing restaurants. Doesn’t matter who you’re with or what the occasion is, the conversation eventually comes around to the whole dining scene here in the city: what restaurants have opened, which ones have closed, which ones are noteable, etc etc.
Albany Park is located on the North side and is known as one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods here in Chicago – and the entire US. In addition to being home to Korea Town, Albany Park is also home to foreign-born residents from Cambodia, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Somalia, Pakistan and the Middle East; to include Lebanon, Iraq and, of course, Iran.
Iran’s colorful Persian history is warmly reflected in the cuisine at Noon O Kebab, which we visited several weeks ago. From the initial plate of feta cheese, fresh herbs and bits of fresh onion and radishes, we knew we were in for a feast of treats.
We also tried the Moosir and Kash-Ke-Bademjan, the Moosir being a thick homemade yogurt and the Kash-Ke-Bademjan a warm eggplant dish, pureed with onions, garlic and herbs and topped with roasted shallots. Both appetizers are perfect for dipping with the house bread – Noon (or Naan), which is what the restaurant’s name refers to (and which, of course, I didn’t think to get a picture of).
For my entree, I got the Shrimp and Beef Koubideh dish. Koubideh refers to how the meat is prepared, which is basically minced, well seasoned and grilled on skewers. It’s typically served with grilled tomatoes and vegetables and it comes with basmati rice, cooked with dill, parsely, lima beans and garlic. So many flavors!
We were so full, I regretted not being able to try any desserts. This alone requires a return visit.
The atmosphere was lively and cheerful, with lots of both couples and families. This place is definitely popular with the Persian community looking for solid, home cooking. The restaurant was crowded, but not packed; and the number of people dining certainly wasn’t reflected in our service. Our server was friendly, provided great recommendations and answered a LOT of questions from us.
There were so many options and I’m genuinely curious to try other things on the menu. I can’t wait to go back and try more!